Taiwan nightclub owner arrested after deadly fire

Eighteen fire engines and more than 50 firefighters fought the blaze

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Police in Taiwan have detained the owner of a nightclub, where a fire killed nine people and injured 12 at the weekend.

The fire at the packed venue in the city of Taichung was one of the island's deadliest in recent years.

The club had passed a fire inspection, but to attract more business, the owner allowed performances using fire.

Witnesses told officials that a dancer was performing with flames early on Sunday, and the ceiling caught on fire.

About 70 people - mostly in their 20s and 30s - were in the club at the time.

The blaze began at about 0130 on Sunday (1730 GMT), and spread quickly through the two-storey building.

The club owner could face charges of manslaughter and endangering public safety, says the BBC's Cindy Sui in Taipei.

The dancer was detained but was later released on bail.

Taiwan's laws currently do not ban the use of flammable devices in nightclub shows, but government agencies are now considering a change in the law, our correspondent says.

Some critics say Taiwan's government should do more to prevent fire-related deaths.

For example, residents are still allowed to install metal bars over their windows, even on high floors, to stop theft - but many people die in fires as the bars block their escape route.

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